Bicycle Network: Join in
Why did you join the commuter revolution?
Check out why others decided to join the commuter revolution.
What was it that motivated others to start riding? Why do they keep riding to work and why did they register for Ride to Work Day? Check out what these riders had to say:
Last year I was prompted to try riding to work by someone I considered a ‘co-worker’
This year I consider him a close friend, and we often ride to work together
Last year I was driving to work each day
This year I ride to work each day
Last year I compared petrol prices as I drove to work, trying desperately to save money
This year I ride straight past two petrol stations, look at the prices, and smile
Last year I felt like I was wasting half my morning just looking for a car space
This year I step off my bike, snap closed the lock and step into the building
Last year I gripped the steering wheel and gritted my teeth at every traffic light
This year I bypass at least a dozen traffic lights by using a local bike-path
Last year I was cooped up in a car, feeling tired, bored and trapped
This year I am riding in the open air, feeling exhilarated and free
Last year I worried about car registration, insurance, expensive repairs and running costs
This year I check my bank account and wonder how to spend my extra cash
Last year I was destroying the environment and choking the world with my exhaust fumes
This year I am protecting next year, and the year after, and the year after that. For me, and for my children.
Last year I had high blood-pressure, high cholesterol and was on my way to an early grave
This year I feel like a new person. I see life differently somehow, and I’ve never felt more alive
Last year I was driving to work each day, and I hated it
This year I ride to work each day, and I love it
Last year I didn’t registered for Ride to Work Day, because I didn’t think I had it in me
This year I registered for Ride to Work Day and I’ve encouraged my colleagues, friends and family to do the same
Last year I joined the commuter revolution
This year you should try it too
Last year, I was diagnosed with depression. As part of my therapy, I was advised that regular excercise would be beneficial for me, and help to promote a healthy and positive outlook on life. This, coupled with the fact that I had severely damaged both my knees playing soccer, meant that I could no longer keep my fitness up by participating in high impact contact sports. Then on my Christmas holiday, bored as I was, I rediscovered my love for the bike. Slow and steady at first, I took short trips around the block and on local bike paths, remembering how I loved the wind in my hair and the feel of the fresh air against my skin. Then I realised how good it made me feel. These short rides turned into ever longer journeys, and now I find myself riding to work every day (it was only going to be 1-2 times per week), and taking long rides on the weekends.I feel great, look happier, and have a new sense of purpose that I probably would not have found without my bike. It's also nice to feel like a part of something, and belonging to the ever-widening community of avid cyclists fills me with pride. And as a cyclist, I'm forever trading knowing glances and stories of great cycling adventures with other bike nuts. Not to mention drooling over the catalogues featuring the latest bikes on the market. Can't get enough!
Well, I started last year when I was 53 years old -- a distance of about 40 kilometres there and back. Although I was never very sporty, I used to enjoy riding to school in my youth. For my twelfth birthday my father had bought me a gleaming new BSA bike (with the Sturmey Archer hub gears and the dymo light) and I was as proud as punch. It accompanied me every day to high school and then university. But then I went overseas to live, and the bike (which I had become attached to and didn't want to give away) spent many long years gathering dust in different people's garages. On my return to Australia I rode it a little bit before buying a car, but then it lapsed again. Work was so far away, and shopping for family groceries on a bike was a challenge. So it languished for over two decades in the too hard basket until .... One day about a year ago I got an email about Ride to Work day, and a little light flashed on in my mind. Could I get back into riding now that I was on the wrong side of 50? This was for me a much more alluring symbol of midlife renewal than the traditional red sportscar. I imagined the wind in my face, the trees slipping by on either side, and the feeling of wellbeing after a particularly strenuous workout. Could my bike be repaired to run smoothly again? Luckily the local bike mechanic used to run a bike shop in London for 15 years and knew all about BSA bikes, and he fired me once again with enthusiasm. But what about the distance? I used to cycle 2 km each way to school and 7km to uni, but how about 20 to work???? Well, the bike was now fixed, so there was only one thing to do: I left home very, very early one morning, leaving plenty of time just in case anything happened, in order to find out! The thought of the distance was so daunting that I imagined my muscles cramping up and overexhaustion perhaps requiring several days to recover. I don't think I ever would have attempted it if it hadn't been for the very supportive Bike Buddy who was assigned to me for Ride to Work Day. That day I discovered that not only could I ride again without undue exhaustion, but the bike paths in Melbourne are very beautiful, safe and well connected. For most of the 20km from Alphington to Footscray I would not have known I was in a big city at all. I still find wet paths and cycling after dark a little bit of a challenge (though I have braved these a few times). But come spring and I will gladly be out there soaking up the sun and the fresh air, preparing for and then unwinding from work, avoiding and reducing pollution and traffic jams, enjoying the feeling of cameraderie with my fellow-cyclists, and generally having a great time. Thank you to all those whose hard work has made this possible.
Cycling for fun and fitness has always been part of my life, but there were always things about work and the city that kept me from using my bike for commuting. Having to be dressed up at the office, living too far away for cycling to be practical, no cycleways or even room on the roads, and unpredictable weather all combined as barriers to commuting. Then I started reading about commuting tips, hearing from others about how to make it work. Sitting in car traffic was killing me, I wanted the fresh air and great feeling I would get on my days off when I went for an early morning ride. I wanted to have those chats at stoplights with other cyclists, then no more parking hassles and costs once I got to work. I had to make changes in my lifestyle and work schedule to make it happen. It took some lobbying to get a shower accessible for cyclists at the hospital then to get hot water working but it felt great the first few times when I arrived sweaty and ready for the day. I liked that other environmentally conscious co-workers noticed my effort and the smile on my face that came with the satisfaction that I was doing the right thing. I had to move close enough to work to ride my bike instead of fuming in my car amongst the fumes. I had to plan ahead so I would have clothes at work. Getting the right gear to carry what I needed, getting a bike that suited the commute added to the comfort and ease, and just hunting for equipment bargains online was fun and reinforcing. Now I miss it when I have to drive because I have appointments during the day that require multiple car trips. Maybe with SKYPE I can make those meetings online while I’m on my indoor trainer
Balancing work and a young family I was struggling to find dedicated time to exercise. Riding to work has now become part of my daily routine and means that I get exercise without even trying. It gives me an opportunity to stop thinking about work before I get home, saves me money on transport and is good for the environment and has meant we have been able to operate as a one car family.
I feel better than I have in years.